Sun 07 May 17
at 16:27 PM
Report: Bristol City 0 Blues 1
Blues retained their Sky Bet Championship status with a 1-0 win at Ashton Gate.
Che Adams' first-half goal gave Blues a deserved lead but it was much tougher after the break.
Despite Blues having their fate in their hands, positive results by Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers meant a nervous finish with Bristol City throwing everything forward.
But Blues showed their metal and did what they do best causing mass celebrations from the excellent travelling support, players and staff.
Harry Redknapp named an unchanged team from the side that beat Huddersfield Town last week with Clayton Donaldson and Greg Stewart replacing Cheick Keita and Robert Tesche on the bench.
Blues nearly got off to the perfect start through a bulldozing Adams. The striker, who’d had his red card rescinded this week, looked sharp and hungry and he forced Fabian Giefer into a fantastic fingertip save with a curling effort towards the far post.
Blues continued to dominate and Giefer made successive save when Adams burst into the box and shot low and then Lukas Jutkiewicz nodded Jonathan Grounds’ cross on target.
However, despite the good saves Giefer nearly helped give Blues the lead. The ‘keeper charged out and missed Ryan Shotton’s deep cross, but Jutkiewicz, who was under pressure, just nodded wide.
There was plenty of frustration, but as news spread around Ashton Gate that Blackburn Rovers were 2-0 up, Blues stood up to be counted.
Adams latched onto Jutkiewicz’s ball over the top and after shrugging off Aden Flint in the area, he kept his cool and finished low.
It was a deserved lead that was nearly doubled on the half hour mark. Adams took three Bristol players out of the game with an excellent run and as he shot from the right channel, Giefer parried wide.
The home side responded and had two half chances when Joe Bryan fired wide from the left channel and Flint headed over a good corner 12 yards.
But with Bristol pressing it was Blues who were disappointed to have not scored the second goal of the afternoon.
The Robins half-cleared a Craig Gardner corner and Jacques Maghoma hit a first-time volley that beat Giefer, but not Tammy Abraham who headed clear off the line.
HT - Bristol City 0 Blues 1
With results going against Blues, everyone at Ashton Gate knew that Blues needed to win.
And they started where they left off with Grounds heading over from inside the six-yard box and Gardner forcing Giefer to tip over with an excellent 40-yard strike.
But that was as close Blues got to doubling the lead.
Bristol made a double change on the hour mark by introducing Lee Tomlin and Milan Djuric which showed Bristol's ambition to secure a result.
Josh Brownhill nearly benefited from decent play around the box as the hosts recycled the ball to the right side of the area, but the midfielder's shot in acres of space rolled past the far post.
Blues continued to keep their shape and defend stoutly which caused groans as Joe Bryan cut in off the left and fired over with options at the far post.
But as the minutes ticked by, Bristol's desperation heightened and despite Bailey Wright heading over Blues looked calm and composed.
Six minutes of stoppage was shown to Redknapp's surprise and the home side were urged forward by their supporters.
Giefer was thrown into the box to help Bristol score at a late corner, but a second ball dropped to defender Flint who fired over 12 yards.
And that was that. Blues saw out the remaining seconds and there were fabulous scenes as the players sprinted over to the travelling support once the final whistle had blown.
It was certainly a nervous afternoon, but it'll definitely be one to remember.
KEEP RIGHT ON.